Bittrex Exchange Announces Shutdown Amid Regulatory Uncertainty

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Key takeaways:

  • Although the exchange stated that all client funds were secure, it still allowed American customers to withdraw their money until April 30, 2023.
  • As a result of Bittrex’s closure illustrates how difficult it is for cryptocurrency companies to navigate a hazy regulatory landscape.

The rigorous regulatory and economic climate has prompted the cryptocurrency exchange Bittrex to declare it will be closing down its operations in the United States. In a bittersweet turn of events for the business, the news was announced on the platform’s ninth anniversary. 

Richie Lai, co-founder and CEO, said that as the cryptocurrency ecosystem developed, regulatory requirements became more “unclear” and enforced without adequate discussion or input, creating an unlevel playing field for competitors. Due to the current economic climate, Bittrex can no longer sustain its activities in the United States.

The company’s creators have decided to concentrate on assisting Bittrex Global’s success outside of the United States. According to Bittrex, US customers don’t need to be concerned about the security of their money because all of their money is secure and ready for transfer. The trading platform announced that it would allow trading until April 14, 2023, but urged users to complete all withdrawals by April 30. The company tweeted:

“Due to continued regulatory uncertainty, we have decided to wind down our U.S. operations, effective April 30, 2023. All funds are safe and can be fully withdrawn immediately.”

Three cybersecurity experts created Bittrex in 2014, and it provided services like a full-service API, almost instantaneous atomic transactions, wallet infrastructure, and inactive cold wallet options. As a result of Bittrex’s closure illustrates how difficult it is for cryptocurrency companies to navigate a hazy regulatory landscape when it comes to establishing their businesses across the U.S.

The Securities and Exchange Commission‘s regulatory approach, according to Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse, places the United States at serious risk of losing its appeal as a center for the upcoming wave of blockchain and cryptocurrency innovation. Garlinghouse issued the warning on March 3.

According to Garlinghouse, the U.S.’s control of the cryptocurrency market is “behind” that of countries like Australia, Japan, the United Kingdom, Singapore, and Switzerland, and the industry has already begun to move abroad.

Crypto exchanges have not been exempt from U.S. regulators’ increased scrutiny of businesses involved in the cryptocurrency industry in recent weeks and months. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently sent Coinbase a Wells Notice. Kraken shut down its cryptocurrency staking business and settled with the SEC by paying a $30 million fine.

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